Zimbabwe's grain output to drop by nearly half: government

Zimbabwe's grain output to drop by nearly half: government

Zimbabwe is likely to suffer a nearly 50-percent decline in corn output this year because of poor rainfall and a prolonged dry spell, the government said, although it ruled out a shortage of the staple.

Maize crop

Harvests of grains including corn, also called maize, are expected to decline by around 43 percent in 2022, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said in a post-cabinet statement Wednesday night.

Maize production this year is estimated at 1.55 million tonnes, compared to 2.7 million tonnes in 2021, she said.

A maize-flour mash known as "sadza" is a staple in Zimbabwe, eaten with meat or vegetables.

"Despite the decline in production owing to the vagaries of the weather, there is however enough maize in stock," Mutsvangwa said.

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She urged millers and stock-feed manufacturers to import cereal to cover shortfalls of other grains -- a tall order in light of the expected shortages due to the war in Ukraine, a major bread basket.

According to the World Food Programme (WFP), at least 49 percent of Zimbabwe's population live in extreme poverty.

Around 5.3 million people are deemed "food insecure" as a result of the impact of climate change, entrenched economic problems and Covid-19.

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